Child’s Play

Friday, April 03, 2020

Tuning into YouTube, I watched as Dolly Parton, settled on a pink bed, read “The Little Engine”. As she read with the book’s pages showing, one easily could read along, too. Moving from Dolly’s video, I found one with Barbara Bain (among my all-time favorite television actresses) reading a children’s story, with the book’s pages showing so one could track with her. My favorite video happened when I ran across Lily Tomlin, reading “Hey That’s My Monster”. In true “Lily style” and so talented, she both read and acted-out the story’s expressions and feelings.

Aside from the delight of seeing and hearing those capable actors communicate classic stories, the well-known works themselves toss adult brains back into a children’s world. Oh, I remember that “little engine that could”. Its determined uphill struggles and its ultimate victory lent encouragement to my timid childhood. Lily’s way of reading returns me to my high school years, to drama coaches who tried to emphasize a stark difference between “interpreting” and “acting”. I never really “got it”, and now, find sheer joy as Lily successfully blurs that still-mysterious difference.

This is to say that, beginning now, my daily coronavirus-isolation activities will include story readings on YouTube. Most of these videos, while relatively brief, pleasant, and primarily performed for kids, will stir-up in many, our old memories and feelings.

Dear Friends: I hope you’re hanging-in improves, too, with available free creativity. Diana

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